Message #212

Date: Wed, 15 Jul 1998 
Subject: Pecos Brewing Contest Going Flat?

[ AzTeC / SWA SASIG ] :

From: Timothy J. Seaman

Pecos Conference Attendees:

As of today, I have received only one entry form for
the Pecos Brewing Contest (other than my own). I
know of maybe 6-8 other possible entries from
discussions with friends and through e-mail
communications, but this is not a sufficient
response to warrant bringing in professional brew
judges. Unless I hear about more entries this week,
we will have to cancel this event. If you have been
counting on bringing your brew to the conference,
contact me immediately. We will still try to have
some good homebrew and microbrews at the Thursday
night reception and registration at the Lab of Anthro,
but the contest may be canceled owing to lack of
participation unless there is an immediate response.

Tim Seaman
(505) 827-6347 x531/ 476-0171 FAX
"Born to fish; Forced to work"

Date: Thu, 16 Jul 1998 13:47:31
Subject: A Short History of a Somewot Similar

My sympathies re the poor turnout (so far). Maybe
you need to expand the scope of your project?
Perhaps this brief history of something vaguely
similar will be of interest, anyhow.

I started the "Great Wines of SEAC" competition at
the 1982 Southeastern Archaeological Conference
meeting in Memphis, after noticing the various
generally unheralded wineries around the Southeast,
plus hearing about various home-made wines (I had
actually run an informal competition among amateur
fans of the Fort Toulouse project in Alabama in
1972 or 1973). Anyhow, the response was
overwhelming, despite short notice, and we had 
winners in various categories, bringing in stuff
from the far corners of the "Southeast" including
upstate New York! Our first judge was Jim Brown,
who had made the mistake of being overheard
bragging that he had taken a wine-tasting course.
He was awarded a micro-miniature brass spittoon
for his time & trouble.

The next year, somewhere or other, we had similar
results.  The judge that time was David Hally, who
had made the mistake of being overheard bragging
that he had taken a wine-tasting course.  (Do we
see a pattern developing?) Brown had absolutely,
categorically refused to do an encore (perhaps
dissuaded by some of the less inspiring vintages).

The third year, in Columbia, SC, I had overheard
no braggarts, and got stuck with the judging job
myself, with an immense turnout. Very shortly
therafter (post hoc, ergo propter hoc?), I was
diagnosed as diabetic, and ceased & desisted from
running the contest. However, the demand continued,
so I "franchised" the contest to Bruce Smith for
either the Birmingham 1985 or Nashville 1986
meeting---it's all a blur, in the mists of time....

The contests continued more or less regularly, but
somehow around 1990, in a blinding flash of
inspiration, someone (I think it was Jeff Mitchem,
but I was totally out of that scene by then) came
up with the new name, "Great Spirits of SEAC",
thereby opening it up to all sorts of concoctions.
I have avoided it all decade, but understand that
it was at least at first a colossal success, though
(like many other cultural phenomena) it may have
tailed off (or as the SE seriationists say,
"battleshipped out") in recent years.

Anyhow, just a thought: you might consider some
time expanding beyond mere beer to include
"Great Spirits of Pecos".  Good luck in any event,

--  Marvin Jeter, Arkansas Archeological Survey